I have had diabetes for 12 years and an insulin pump for about 6. Due to a recent blackout incident my doctors want me to get a CGM? Any options or tips to help me out?
Have you considered a DOG? seriously, a hypoglycemia alert dog may be as good or better for what you want – avoidance of severe hypoglycemia – than a CGM. CGMs are not designed for that purpose specifically – they try to do a lot more than that, and – possibly for that reason – they do not do anything very well, or, more important, very reliably. That said, I have had one – Dexcom – for 9 months, after five years of diabetes, and value it greatly even though I swear at it almost every day. It will, certainly, warn you of most of your hypoglycemic events, as well as giving you lots of false alarms.
I don’t have Type 1 but my 7 year old daughter does. She was diagnosed at 3. We tried the Medtronic Enlite but it just didn’t work for us. We tried and tried to make it work, and Medtronic bent over backwards to try and help us, but it was just too unreliable. We switched to Dexcom last October and have been amazed by the product. The accuracy is stunning, and in the rare cases it’s off it seems to right itself with one calibration. It’s not perfect because its measuring interstitial glucose, but it’s fantastic for trends and for heading off lows and highs before they become extreme. My daughter’s a1c has gone from 7.4 to 6.6. She even remarked one day that she can’t imagine anyone having diabetes and not having a CGM. We can’t say enough good things about Dexcom. I acknowledge it’s not for everyone, but I can tell you that it’s been a real game-changer for our family.
I use a Dexcom and have for 4 years. I wear a pump and the CGM is such a big help. The only downside is that Tylenol gives it false readings.
I have a 15 month old daughter that was diagnosed 6 months ago. When we first were released from the hospital we were giving MDI’s and checking BG every 3 hours - even through the night. Waking up a baby to check glucose levels who otherwise was used to sleeping through the night since she was 8 weeks old was not ideal to say the least.
After about a month we received approval from insurance for an Omnipod and Dexcom Platnum G4 CGM. I can honestly not say enough good things about the Dexcom. There are a few times where it is a little off from an actual blood reading - but for the most part the accuracy is pretty unbelievable. We still check glucose levels with the Omnipod PDM when we bolus, but being able to see the trends and start to correct before she falls out of the target range is awesome! Our baby is unable to tell us if she is feeling low/high, this bridges the gap for us and allows us to sleep through the night knowing we will be alerted if her glucose level starts going out of range. We also utilize the “share” technology so my wife and I can monitor her on our phones while we are at work and she is with the sitter. There is no other technology currently on the market that will allow you to do this.
The Dexcom is using the interstitial fluid to determine a BG reading - the algorithm they use to convert the information sometimes picks up what Dexcom calls “noise”. This “noise” is actually out-liar BG information that falls well out of the mean average readings. Dexcom has just recently revamped their algorithm in their standard G4 system to limit the “noise” that the transmitter sends to the receiver and has allowed their MARD to drop from 13% to 9% making it the most accurate CGM available (as accurate if not more so than many blood glucose monitors on the market). We’re hoping the update will eventually be released for the pediatric users but no word on when that will be yet.
To summarize, I’d definitely suggest the Dexcom if you are considering a CGM. I am confident that you will love it. Being able to keep your self in range using the trend information is going to be a great advantage even for an adult patient and the high/low alerts can be life savers especially over night.
I have a Dexcom. I got one because I don’t recognize lows. Mine is usually pretty accurate and even when it is a little off, it is still right with BG trends. For me it has been a life saver.
I have a Medtronic Pump and Dexcom CGM. I would go back to shots before giving up my Dexcom. It’s not perfect, but it helps a ton. Also, lots of people (me included) wear it for more than the 7-day FDA approval. It can be accurate over two weeks. I do get alarm fatigue sometimes (so does my wife!), but I think that is normal and you just have to deal with it. Good luck!
My Dex is wildly inaccurate as to the number, often more than 20% off vs. a finger stick. (Which i believe 20% is the “typical” or approved difference.) The alarm goes off at night at 55 and can’t be silenced, but 55 is wrong, it is usually 75-85. The alarm has prevented decent sleep some nights.
I use the Dex for trends.
I have an Animas Pump and Dexcom CGM and would not go back to being CGMless. As others have said, there have been times (especially after exercise) that the low alarms have caused for a sleepless night or a distraction during a meeting. But the benefits for me greatly outweigh the loss of sleep or increased distraction at work. It has made it much easier to make basil adjustments and prevent lows.
Best of luck!
I can’t say enough good things about the Dexcom. I have been T1D for 31 years and I got the Dexcom earlier this year. Mine is very accurate and when it is slightly off the trend arrows are always right on. It has allowed me to exercise safely, fine tune my basal insulin, notice trends that I might not otherwise, wake up for night time lows, etc… I would not want to be without it. The only bit of advice that I have is this- I have only gotten a false low reading twice and both times I was sleeping and I laying directly on the sensor. I now place it in areas where I can’t lay directly on it and I have not had a problem since. I can empathize with those that get sick of all alarms but for me it is worth it. I have my high number set at 160 and by doing this I have kept my A1c at 6.0 for over 6 months now! The Dexcom has become my best diabetes buddy.